CD Reviews

Quiet Riot - 'QR' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 05, 2010    
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Still far and away the best thing ever to come out under that name.

Two years on from the disappointing (at least from a commercial success perspective) ‘QR III’ album and LA metal pioneers Quiet Riot found themselves in a complete state of flux. Motor mouth front man Kevin DuBrow had been given his marching orders for pissing off everyone he came into contact with one time too many, and even bassist Chuck Wright had been unceremoniously dumped as the band floundered on the rocks. It was at this stage that remaining members Carlos Cavazo and Frankie Banali (guitars and drums respectively) pulled what some considered an act of desperation, but in actual fact was nothing short of a musical masterstroke.

Recruiting the ex Rough Cutt pairing of Paul Shortino (vocals) and Sean McNabb (bass), they not only brought the band back up to full strength, but took it off in a hitherto unimaginable direction. Depending on who you talk to, the ‘Quiet Riot’ album was either the best or the worst thing the band had ever done up to that point. Granted it was a Quiet Riot album unlike any you’d ever heard before (or since to be honest), but the songs and performances contained within its grooves were literally a good country mile ahead of anything they’d ever managed to come up with in the past!

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Originally released in the fall of ’88, ‘Quiet Riot’ was a smouldering, bluesy hard rock album that owed little to the Quiet Riot of old, drawing its main influences instead from acknowledged classic hard rock acts like Whitesnake and Dio. With DuBrow gone and Shortino out front, the band finally had a singer who knew how to channel emotion and expression into his performance (as opposed to the barrack room bully boy stance of his predecessor), and these were used to devastating effect throughout the eleven songs which comprised it.

Embracing Shortino into the songwriting fold also pushed Cavazo and Banali to their creative limits, but one listen to tracks such as ‘Stay With Me Tonight’ (love the Jon Lord styled intro), ‘Run To You’, ‘King Of The Hill’ or ‘Don’t Wanna Be Your Fool’ and whatever it took was worth it in my book. Whilst longstanding fan reaction was kind of lukewarm at the time, the album did manage to arrest the downward trend of its predecessor, although the band would never again enjoy the kind of success they had a few short years before.

With yet another superb remastering job from Jon Astley, and Paul Suter’s pearls of wisdom providing plenty of intrigue in the sleeve notes, this criminally overlooked album finally gets another chance to shine. Happy to concede this wasn’t really what Quiet Riot was all about, but to these ears this is still far and away the best thing ever to come out under that name!

Dave Cockett

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Dairenn Lombard said:

FM 105.5 KNAC Long Beach here in California ran "Stay With Me Tonight" when it first came out and I remember absolutely loving the song. I was strangely the only one I knew who had that reaction at the time. Kevin DuBrow was no doubt the heart and soul of Quiet Riot as far as its fanbase was concerned, so I can appreciate the "Van Hagar" panning of this release. However, I thought it unfairly considered at the time, and I'll be looking forward to hearing this remastered issue on the Rock Candy label.
November 05, 2010
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